We are huge fans of Director Sean Ellis’s work and are always keeping our ear to the ground for any news on his projects, so were very excited to get some updates over the weekend.
If you don’t know Sean Ellis’s work by now you really should - Ellis has already achieved remarkable success as a high end photographer & directing commercials with his films exhibiting all the technical ability of a future master film maker honing his craft and we can’t wait to see his next feature Metro Manila.
- Metro Manila gets an Official HD Trailer
- Announcement: Metro Manila gets its UK premiere at Sundance UK we have dates and times!
- Metro Manila gets a brand new French poster and an updated International Poster
- Announcement: Metro Manila to be screened at the Berlin Festival festival & audiences are loving Metro Manila
- We find 3 clips from Metro Manila and some images
- Metro Manila gets a poster
- A brief production update from Director Sean Ellis on Metro Manila current status
- We get a behind the scenes Metro Manila photo & Synopsis
If you a regular reader of The Establishing Shot you know that I earmarked Sean Ellis’s Metro Manila as one of my hot upcoming releases – from the moment I heard about it I have been waiting to see it - a merging of World, Art and Heist Cinema. How could I not?
|Metro Manila updated International Poster (click to enlarge)|
SUNDANCE LONDON ADDS METRO MANILA TO ITS FESTIVAL LINE UP
Sundance announced an additional three films have been added the Sundance London feature film programme including Metro Manila for its UK Spotlight — Drawing on the Sundance Film Festival’s rich legacy of premiering outstanding films produced in the UK – including An Education, Four Weddings and a Funeral, In Bruges, In the Loop, Kinky Boots, and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels – this new showcase presents a selection of UK films that premiered in Park City, Utah.
In the UK Spotlight is Sundance Film Festival World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award winner Metro Manila – seeking a better life, Oscar and his family move from the poverty-stricken rice fields to the big city of Manila, where they fall victim to various inhabitants whose manipulative ways are a daily part of city survival.
Seeking a brighter future in megacity Manila, Oscar Ramirez and his family flee their impoverished life in the rice fields of the northern Philippines. But the sweltering capital’s bustling intensity quickly overwhelms them, and they fall prey to the rampant manipulations of its hardened locals. Oscar catches a lucky break when he’s offered steady work for an armored truck company and gregarious senior officer Ong takes him under his wing. Soon, though, the reality of his work’s mortality rate and the murky motives of his new partner force Oscar to confront the perils he faces in his new job and life.
Director Sean Ellis received the Audience Award for World Cinema by capturing the desperation of life amongst the squalid Manila slums, then ratchets up the tension, creating an intense thriller with a poignant humanity and palpable dramatic stakes. In the role of Oscar, Jake Macapagal brings emotional depth to the wrenching choices he must make to sustain his family.
Director: Sean Ellis, Screenwriters: Sean Ellis, Frank E. Flowers
26 April – 9pm
28 April – 11.30am
These additions join the following previously announced titles:
A.C.O.D. (Director: Stuart Zicherman, Screenwriters: Ben Karlin, Stuart Zicherman) — Carter is a well-adjusted Adult Child of Divorce. So he thinks. When he discovers he was part of a divorce study as a child, it wreaks havoc on his family and forces him to face his chaotic past. Cast: Adam Scott, Richard Jenkins, Catherine O'Hara, Amy Poehler, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clark Duke. (Narrative) International Premiere
Mud (Director and screenwriter: Jeff Nichols) — Two teenage boys encounter a fugitive and form a pact to help him evade the bounty hunters on his trail and reunite him with his true love. Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Reese Witherspoon. (Narrative) UK Premiere
Sundance Institute, which annually presents the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, U.S.A., selected the film and panel programming. Including the three films announced today, Sundance London will present 21 feature films and nine short films across four sections, including a new UK Spotlight. Of the 30 films in the festival, 26 films will make their international, European or UK premieres at Sundance London. Ten are by female filmmakers and six are by first-time feature filmmakers. The films collectively received 12 awards, including two Audience Awards, when they premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival, said, “With the addition of these three films, Sundance London will present an even more well rounded programme of independent films that represents the work we show at our Festival in Utah. In addition, each offers audiences a unique experience to interact with the artists behind exciting, challenging and entertaining work.”
Tickets for all Sundance London films and panels, including those announced on March 11, are now on sale at www.sundance-london.com.
For more information visit www.sundance-london.com or follow @SundancefestUK on Twitter.
|Metro Manila International French Poster (click to enlarge)|
Metro Manila follows Oscar Ramirez and his family after leaving the poverty stricken rice fields in the northern Philippines to seek opportunities in Manila, where he hopes to find better work. Things take a turn for the better when Oscar gets a job as an armoured car driver. But soon Oscar learns that all is not what it seems and has to face the dangers of his new life ...
|Image: Metro Manila Ramirez family fleeing|
In the second longer clip gears shift and the mood sinks ominously as Sean Ellis masterfully turns up the atmosphere and we become painfully aware of the desperation that Oscar and his family are enduring.
It is hard to keep my expectations in check with the buzz being generated around Metro Manila and that second clip which shows a bit of what we can expect from Sean Ellis and his cast.
|Image: Metro Manila things are spiralling out of control for Oscar Jake Macapagal|
|Image: Metro Manila armour guards on the job Ong - John Arcilla|
Cashback is one of those rare films that manages to merge Art and Cult in an absorbing tale that is a joy to watch. It is on my list of greatest films ever made and even though Ellis is an accomplished photographer it is hard to believe that Cashback was his directorial debut.
At first glance Cashback may be accused of being light of depth and a feature length film shot with a commercial’s sensibilities but past Sean Ellis and Cinematographer Angus Drayton's masterful handling of the visual aesthetics that fold into the haunting and dreamy soundtrack, the incredibly likeable and engaging characters - Cashback evokes emotion and feeling somewhere between nostalgia and youthful hope. Something that many films try to do but few succeed at.
It is also one of those films that treats London in a way that every day Londoners see it rather than the tourist postcard version or antithetically seeking out its dark underbelly.
For his next film The Broken Ellis goes in a completely different direction showing his versatility with an original and suspense laden tale of Doppelgangers in London.
The Broken is an intelligent and dark tale not for everyone but it cannot be denied that it is a competent and original story, that doesn’t fall back on clichés as it unwraps a dark and moody mystery. Again Ellis exceeds at building a universe that allows a claustrophobic nightmare to come to life allowing his cast to shine.
The Broken stars; Lena Headey, Ulrich Thomsen, Melvil Poupaud and Richard Jenkins.
A couple of months ago I was fortunate enough to catch a screening of Cashback and QA with the Cashback team courtesy of Tiger’s Undiscovered Treasure season
After wards I got chatting to the team and in between having my mind blown at just how cool they all are - I asked Sean what he was working on next and he let me know that he had been shooting Metro Manila in the Philippines. He didn't give me to much detail but the story concerns the relationship between two cash in transit guards that become embroiled in a heist situation in busy Manila.
Hearing Sean talk about I was engrossed and a crime drama set in the dangerous and fast paced city of Manila seen through Sean Ellis’s eyes had my expectations running high. Just look at the Metro Manila poster below and you can feel the claustrophobia and weight of the city weighing down on the guy.
|Metro Manila Film Poster (Click to enlarge)|
Seeking a better life, Oscar Ramirez and his family decide to move from the poverty stricken rice fields of the Northern Philippine mountain ranges and journey towards the capital mega city of Metro Manila. Upon arriving in the big city, it isn't long before they fall foul to various city inhabitants whose manipulative ways are a daily part of city survival. Oscar lands a job as a driver for an armoured truck company and is befriended by Ong, his senior officer. It soon becomes apparent that Ong has been waiting for the arrival of someone just like Oscar for some time. A few simple acts of kindness from Ong place Oscar in his debt; a debt that leads to blackmail as Ong forces Oscar to help him in a robbery of the company they both work for.
“Metro Manilla is very near the finishing line. It has taken a lot longer than originally planned (as it always does) and is expected to be completed by the end of the May”